Equestrian: Bertram Allen and Molly Malone fourth in Verona
Germany-based rider records Ireland’s best result to date in this year’s FEI World Cup series
Bertram Allen finished fourth in Verona. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Wexford’s Bertram Allen and Molly Malone recorded Ireland’s best result to date in this year’s Longines FEI World Cup series when fourth in Sunday’s third leg at the five-star show in Verona, Italy where they were winners in 2014.
Fourteen combinations progressed to the jump-off round where, eighth to go, the Germany-based rider briefly took over the lead when clear in a time of 38.60 on the 14-year-old Kannan mare, which is owned by the Allen family’s Ballywalter Farms.
That time was immediately bettered by Switzerland’s Markus Fuchs riding Clooney 51 (38.40) and again by Belgium’s Niels Brynseels who, on board Gancia de Muze, stopped the clock on 37.03. However, from his last-to-jump draw, Germany’s Daniel Deusser had the final say and stormed home in 36.83 with Calisto Blue to snatch the €47,500 first place prize-money.
Earlier in the day, Allen partnered GK Casper (44.93) into second in the 1.45m accumulator competition won by Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum riding Chiara (44.68).
Meanwhile, at the two-star show at Sentower Park in Belgium, Kilkenny’s Ivan Dalton guided Butler Court Stables’ eight-year-old Selle Francais mare Ajaccienne to victory in Sunday’s 1.45m Grand Prix with the fastest (36.01) of seven double clears.
Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum finished second on Calle (36.23) ahead of Co Tipperary’s Denis Lynch riding Caruso (36.37). Home in 38.38, Kilkenny’s Ger O’Neill took sixth place with the Irish Sport Horse gelding Castlefield Vegas.
Joseph Murphy had a most disappointing end to his trip to the four-star event at Pau in southern France when Fernhill Frankie, which had been lying 13th going into Sunday’s concluding show jumping phase, was eliminated for two refusals, while the Co Down rider picked up 20 penalties with Sportsfield Othello for a three-phase total of 94.3.
The 60-runner class provided a great result for the host nation with 23-year-old Thibault Fournier, who was making his four-star debut, winning on Siniani de Lathus (29.5) while his 26-year-old compatriot, Clara Loiseau, finished third with Wont Wait (35.7). They both had a pole down on Sunday as Britain’s Gemma Tattersall jumped clear to complete on her dressage score with Pamero 4 (29.9).